Covert Affairs TV

Covert Affairs

Christopher Gorham by neontrees18

Covert Affairs TV
“What kind of cryptic nonsense is that?,” asks Annie (Piper Perabo) on Tuesday night's (Aug. 31) “Covert Affairs.”

Yeah, that's what we'd like to know.

Spoiler alert! Watch the episode “What is and What Should Never Be” before proceeding further.

As “Covert's” summer run begins to wind up, we turn from Auggie (Christopher Gorham) to Annie, delving into her character more. While there's still a bit of that “operation of the week” feel, there's one major change in her life: Ben Mercer (Eion Bailey) is back.

Well, we always knew he was around. Joan (Kari Matchett) and Arthur (Peter Gallager) knew he was around. Shoot, maybe Annie's sister (Anne Dudek) even knew it. The difference is, Annie only found out for certain last night that he was alive and meddling.

We have to say, we wish he stayed away. Well … okay, we're going to amend that. Part of us is happy that Ben is back. We're not thrilled with these unattainable off-screen loves (like Neal and Kate on “White Collar”). They just serve to put the protagonist in limbo. So yeah, it's good they didn't keep him off to the shadows that long.

What's sad is that Ben comes back and doesn't live up to that romantic vision we had of him. Don't get us wrong. Bailey is an attractive guy, but for some reason, seeing him wearing non-tropical civvies sans cowrie shell necklace, Ben seems to be lacking.

And then he comes back and lays all this mystery crap on Annie? Look Ben, you either stay gone or you come back with some definitive answers, declarative statements. Don't sphinx it up for the CIA's greenest recruit.

Also, we wanted to punch the screen at this cheesetastic point:

Ben: “Do not trust Joan and Arthur. Trust the man you fell in love with in Sri Lanka.”
(Cue music. They gaze at the goddamned cowrie shell necklace.)

Argh! Incredibly frustrating, right? Why should she trust you? At this point, we'd be happy if Annie just kept her friendship with Auggie and swore off all other men, including Jai (Sendhil Ramamurthy), for a while.

Okay, not to be too negative. We'll see how this Ben thing plays out in the last two episodes.

What we did like about the episode:

  • Auggie of course. His advice about the speakers, avoiding felonies and then admitting that he'll always cover for Annie was just too sweet.
  • Joan's people skills are hilarious. Threatening Annie with “I'd hang you out to dry” is a sure way to build up that employee trust and loyalty.
  • You can tell Annie means business this episode. Not only does her hair get mussed, but she's wearing Chucks!
  • Sophie (Sienna Guillory ) gets killed. Okay, we're not happy she died, but that killing took us totally by surprise. That was gutsy.
  • Annie's stubborn streak: She doesn't bow to the CIA nor Ben (much).

What did you think of the episode? Did you like Ben's involvement this week?

Photo credit: USA

All the training in the world, unfortunately, may not shield actors from the dangers of filming action sequences. TMZ recently reported that Perabo sustained an injury to her knee while filming the season finale, but said she was expected to make a full recovery.

This new breed of action women call to mind the quote about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, but backward and in high heels. Except Ginger Rogers never found herself standing on the ledge of an elevator shaft preparing to rappel down, as Perabo recently did with guest star Oded Fehr. “Oded at least has a full man's dress heel on his shoe to stand on that tiny ledge. I've got the spike of a six-inch Louboutin—that's all I've got to hang on with. It's definitely a disadvantage to do it in heels.”

But as hazardous as those shoes are for Perabo, she's downright deadly for them. “I ruin a lot of really beautiful shoes in this show, it's kind of heartbreaking,” she laughs. “The sets we're shooting on, we're in shipping yards and running through jungles, so I carefully carry my beautiful shoes all the way to set so that they don't get scuffed. But by the end of the day it's a wrap on those shoes, they're totally trashed.”

Executive producer Doug Liman, who directed big-screen (and big-budget) spy thrillers like The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, says that scaling down the action for television hasn't posed a problem in the least. “We're applying the same rules that I brought to those bigger movies, because I don't believe the action in those movies was more successful because we spent more money than other people,” he says. “In Mr. & Mrs. Smith, we used machine guns in place of how words would be used in a marital spat. That idea could be made bigger or smaller. For Covert Affairs, when we started working on the show, we said, 'What's our action going to look like?' The first conversations weren't, you know, 'What's the biggest explosion you can do?'”

That hasn't stopped Liman from pushing the envelope when it comes to bringing action to the small screen, though. “The stunts that we did at the beginning are so small compared to what we're doing now,” Perabo says. “Because Doug is so involved, each episode gets bigger and bigger. Right now we're in the middle of the finale, and Doug keeps suggesting things for us to try and do and I'm like, 'I don't think that's physically possible!' He's so excited.”

Covert Affairs